Meet the Cast: BOOBS RADLEY

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Challenger: Boobs Radley
Status: ROOKIE
Store Assignment: Dollar Store

Boobs Radley been shedding her inhibitions and her clothes in Chicago’s burlesque scene for the past five years. Boobs has appeared as a solo artist and as a member of Dirty Bird Burlesque in the Vermont Burlesque Fest, the Ohio Burlesque Festival, the Show Me Burlesque Festival and the Windy City Burlesque Festival. Her fondest festival memory is visiting the World’s Biggest Truck Stop after the Iowa Burlesque Festival. A firm believer in giving back to the community, Boobs produced “Defund THIS 2: Electric Vulvaloo! A Benefit for Planned Parenthood of Illinois” and “The Pussyfoot Revue”, a benefit for Tree House Humane Society combining her two greatest loves, kitties and titties.

Boobs Radley

Boobs Radley

On Thrifty Thrills: “I have seen the most amazing costumes made by people out of the strangest items — Busty’s Paper Roses Dress, Serenna Star’s butterfly wings. I wanted to challenge myself to make something fabulous for next to nothing. I believe burlesque is about more than rhinestones and feathers; it’s about innovation and challenging norms. When you are forced to use your creativity and not rely on easy prettiness to get by, you start making some really cool art. NAMI is near and dear to my heart. I suffer from depression, as do many members of my family. My uncle lost his fight and committed suicide. It’s very important to me to give back in whatever ways I can, and lessen the stigma by saying, “I’m mentally ill.”

Thriftiest burlesque achievement: “Made a shovel for a coal miner number out of a paint tray, a dowel rod and a roll of duct tape. Covered a $6 bra with $1 bandana for the same number and made a “panel skirt” out of another 2 bandanas.”

Get your tickets now to see what Boobs creates with $20 and the dollar store! To find out more about Boobs Radley, follow her on Facebook!

Meet the Cast: HEART CRIMSON

12976895_515433271973448_1530297681227039128_oChallenger: Heart Crimson
Status: ROOKIE
Store Assignment: Grocery Store

Born completely naked, Hell’s resident belle Heart Crimson is a New York- and Chicago-based burlesque performer/producer, alternative model, and stage manager.

Since their performing debut in 2013, they founded the Co-Conspirators, a rough-and-tumble burlesque troupe based in White Plains, New York. The Co-Conspirators’ focus on intersectionality and DIY have gotten them called “the garage band of burlesque.”

Heart’s previous exploits include performing all over NYC, including at Coney Island and Galapagos Art Space. With the Co-Conspirators, they’ve produced and performed in numerous shows, including Alfred Hitchcock Undressed, which is exactly what it sounds like, and BURLEXES: an Ode to Post-Relationship.

On their burlesque journey: “I was an amateur burlesque performer/producer in New York for just over two years before moving to Chicago. In addition to kittening/performing with the New York City community, I founded and ran a troupe called The Co-Conspirators, based out of Purchase College. We operate with a focus on DIY, intersectionality, and neo-burlesque. We are called “the Garage Band of Burlesque”– not that our shows are punk in theme, but punk in execution. We often performed barefoot in student-run venues/gallery spaces. We created with the intention of experimenting with burlesque tropes and site-specific events. We took our studies and re-angled them to strengthen our senses of authenticity and narrative as performers/story-tellers. Since moving to Chicago in September, I’ve enrolled in classes at Vaudezilla and the School of Girlesque to finally embark on my formal burlesque education.”

Heart Crimson

Heart Crimson

On the personal connection to Thrifty Thrills: “Thrifty Thrills sounds incredible.  I am mentally ill and have struggled with depression since I was a very young child. Much of this has been informed by my gender identity (which files as follows: trans>genderqueer>nonbinary) and by my economic status- I am one of three siblings raised by a single mother with no support from my absentee father. Intersectionality has informed my entire career as a performer.”

On accessibility in burlesque: “A big part of what the Co-Conspirators focused on was accessibility– the free shows, the budgets and resources we had as loan-riddled college students; our diverse range of economic backgrounds. Our DIY approach to burlesque represented the multi-faceted socioeconomic spectrum.

Burlesque CAN be as classist as any other creative art (poor kids often aren’t the ones in dance camp, poor kids often can’t afford to take time off of work to costume/choreograph/perform), it CAN be ableist, of course!

My dream is to make burlesque accessible. It’s not always glamour and fierceness and sparkle– at its heart, it is story, vulnerability, power, Realness. There is power in quiet, there is power in simple, there is power in resourcefulness and thrift. That’s why I wanted to participate in Thrifty Thrills.”

Thriftiest burlesque achievement: “I was booked to perform in a fundraiser to benefit environmental consciousness. I visited my local dollar stores and Frankensteined together a costume for a mermaid dying in an oil spill.

This involved:
-creating two mermaid tails out of two shower curtains and a laundry bag.
-creating pasties from the laundry bag fabric
-cutting the feet and crotch out of a torn pair of sheer black tights to wear as a form-fitting top
-repurposing one of the stocking feet to use as a mask
-using cling wrap to form my “bra”
-lots of fake pearls”

Get your tickets now to see what Heart creates with $20 and the grocery store! Catch up with The Scrappy Kid Sibling of Burlesque Forever and Ever DIY for Life at heartcrimsonburlesque.tumblr.com!

Meet the Cast: SHIMMY LAROUX

Shimmy LaRoux

Shimmy LaRoux

Challenger: Shimmy LaRoux
Status: ROOKIE
Store Assignment: Thrift/Resale Store

Shimmy LaRoux is your bad girl with good home training. She can be found all over the city, bringing a combination of quirky charm and addictive energy. Shimmy LaRoux is sassy, classy…but never ashy!

On Thrifty Thrills: “Creativity comes from constraint, so I’m incredibly excited to see what can happen when you get $20 and a place. I heard about last year’s show and knew I wanted to be part of it this year.”

Thriftiest burlesque achievement: “An act that has become on of my signature pieces (Brown Skin Woman) was made for less than $40 (a thrift store dress, parts of a rhinestone order, flowers from the dollar store, recycled shoes and a boa given to me).”

Get your tickets now to see what Shimmy creates with $20 and the thrift store! To find out more about Shimmy LaRoux, visit her official website at ShimmyLaRoux.Com!

Meet the Cast: TITTY PERKINS

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Challenger
: Titty Perkins
Status: ROOKIE
Store Assignment: Party Supply Store

Titty Perkins is a Chicago burlesque sensation and member of Vaudezilla Burlesque. Cuter than a cupcake (with a cherry on top!), she enjoys crystals, frilly panties and french bulldogs, but not all at once.

On burlesque: “I have been performing classic and Neo burlesque since the rise of its popularity in Chicago – I’ve been performing for 5+ years. Though now I usually stay close to home, and do shows on Saturday which Vaudezilla produces.”

On making costumes: “I have an arts background. I love and appreciate really gorgeous costumes and know how to construct things like that, and I love the challenge of creating something really different and fun!”

Titty Perkins

Titty Perkins

Thriftiest burlesque achievements: “So many thrifty moves. I’m a sucker for the thrift store, and have scored many costumes there. I also love the reverence of pieces that have been handed to you by another performer. I still have some of my costumes from when I first started, many belonging to mentors I totally respect. I also try to use every last bit of glue, trim, etc. And I love taking trim off old costumes and reusing it – that’s on of my super easy but effective thriftiness.”

Get your tickets now to see what Titty creates with $20 and the party supply store! To find out more about Titty Perkins, follow her on Facebook!

Meet the Cast: GIN FIZZ

12961196_515434745306634_5737304887651022295_oChallenger: Gin Fizz
Status: ROOKIE
Store Assignment: Garden supply store

Gin Fizz is a bubbly and boozy burlesque performer who has been whetting thirst throughout the Midwest for nearly 10 years. She brings an intoxicating mix of classic bump and grind and humor that will leave your mouth watering. Whether she’s getting you laughing or lusting, one things for certain — when Gin Fizz is on stage, it’s going to be a thirsty night!

On her burlesque journey: “I’ve been performing burlesque for just about ten years now. I started in Oklahoma, where there was little community, continued through Champaign Illinois, and then Chicago. Since coming to Chicago I’ve performed with a variety of groups but found my home in Vaudezilla. I’ve been an ensemble since 2014. I specialize in costuming and classic bump and grind, and I teach classes in both.”

Gin Fizz 1On making costumes: “I’m a costumer at heart. The fluffy dresses and sparkly underthings were what drew me to burlesque in the first place. Over the last two years I’ve developed a symbiosis with another Vaudezilla member, Zara Estelle, where I make all of her costumes in exchange for her choreographing my acts. Her costumes have to be done on a tight budget, but I’d never put her on stage looking like anything less than the diva she is. I’ve become an expert in finding ways to get high end pieces for cheap, to fake it, to get imaginative with designs.”

Thriftiest burlesque achievement:  “I found a 12 ply ostrich boa for $20 on eBay, which was pretty life-changing. Figuring out how to make my own strappy panties out of a few dollars of supplies, or learning to keep broken jewelry to embellish costumes, or turning some disused scarves into a panel skirt… they’re all up there, though. I try to save money where I can so that I can splurge when it counts.”

Meet the Cast: MARCI VOUSPLAIT

Marci Vousplait by IAMKIAM Photography

Marci Vousplait by IAMKIAM Photography

 

Challenger: Marci Vousplait
Status: VETERAN
Store Assignment: Beauty supply store

Winner, 2014 & 2015 Audience Favorite Award

Alluring, amenable,and amply blessed. This little lady will leave you saying please AND thank you!

On burlesque: “I’ve been performing for I think 6 years now. I’m a troupe member of the Better Boobie Bureau. My routines have evolved into being more comedy based than when I was first starting out. I like my acts to be a little quirky with a whole lot of kitsch.”

Previous challenges: Grocery store, 2015 Thrifty Thrills Chicago; Shipping/copy supply store, 2014 Thrifty Thrills Chicago; 2014 Thrifty Thrills Indianapolis

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On Thrifty Thrills: “It is my ABSOLUTE favorite show to do! I love the creative muscles it exercises and the way it makes you view things differently. I even enjoy crying over produce and hot glue.”

1962681_232433776940067_1279560405_nThriftiest burlesque achievements: “It would either have to be making a costume out of produce day of the show so it wouldn’t mold, or making a shimmy dress out of a couple of shredded up mop heads. I looked like a McDonald’s fry guy. It was cool.”

Get your tickets now to see if Marci can continue her domination of the Audience Favorite Award with $20 and the beauty supply store! To find out more about Marci Vousplait, follow her on Facebook!

Meet the Cast: FLORENCE OF A’LABIA

Florence of Alabia

Florence of Alabia

Challenger: Florence of A’Labia
“The Comic Stripper”
Status: VETERAN
Store Assignment: Pet Store

Florence of A’Labia, “The Comic Stripper,” got her start with Super Happy Funtime Burlesque in Michigan, performing nearly 200 shows around the country before her recent move to Chicago. When not performing, she’s a professional erotic comic book artist, which is a real job.

On Thrifty Thrills: “I love costuming, and I love the challenge both of the tight budget and the unorthodox stores to shop from. It’s very inspiring to work within these creative limits.”


Previous Challenge
: Record store, Thrifty Thrills Indianapolis

3Thriftiest Burlesque Achievement: “I made a mermaid costume out of a prom dress I got for $6 at Goodwill.”

Get your tickets now to see what Florence does this time with $20 and the pet store! To find out more about Florence of A’Labia, visit her official Tumblr!

 

 

 

Meet the Cast: SAUDA NAMIR

023 - Game On (11)Challenger: Sauda Namir
“Chicago’s Charismatic Chameleon”

Winner, 2015 Katie Angel Memorial Cheapskate Award (zero dollars spent)

Status: VETERAN
Store Assignment: Hardware Store

Sauda Namir is a multifaceted artist with a penchant for titillation. In addition to the bump’n’grind of burlesque, she’s a nude model for Zivity & GodsGirls, host of Bizarro Bedtime, thriller actress, whimsical photographer, & kinky, bi, poly, sex positive visionary.

On burlesque:  “I am not content to pigeonhole myself into any one particular style [of burlesque]. Instead, I embrace my nerdy, fetish, classic, horror, neo, sides all in equal measure, as inspiration strikes.”

Previous Challenge:  Comic book store, 2015 Thrifty Thrills Chicago; Dollar store, 2014 Thrifty Thrills Chicago

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10981652_377038759146234_4696044150222589637_nOn her thriftiest burlesque achievements:  “I think this has to be last year’s Thrifty Thrills show, in which all supplies to my costume were donated by my friendly neighborhood comic shop. The reversible dress was made entirely from promotional tees, and the massive cape was comprised entirely of female comic characters from torn cover comics. My most thrifty, non-thrills, achievement was the original incarnation of my Flying Spaghetti Monster from my Pastafarian act. It was made entirely from pipe insulation tubes, white duct tape, scrap dress lining fabric, floral wire, two foam balls, and a couple googly eyes.”

Get your tickets now to see what Sauda does this year with $20 and the hardware store! To find out more about Sauda Namir, visit her official website at SaudaNamir.Com